Keenan Allen key to Chicago Bears' dominance in the NFC North in 2024

The Chicago Bears made a lot of moves to improve in 2024. The biggest was the trade that brought in Keenan Allen. His performance could determine their success.
Chicago Bears
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Since the end of the 2023 NFL regular season, the Chicago Bears have been busy overhauling the roster. While general manager Ryan Poles has made some changes on defense, his priority has been on offense. He came in to change the narrative of the "Let's depend on a run-heavy offense and strong defense" of yesteryear. He wants to bring the offense into the modern day.

The Chicago Bears' trade for wide receiver Keenan Allen could be the key to them starting a new era of dominance in the NFC North division.

Poles' first move of the offseason was to fire Luke Getsy and his staff. He did not feel Getsy was able to adjust to his players' abilities so he had to go. Poles then hired Shane Waldron to try to improve the offensive system. Waldron had some success with the Seattle Seahawks

With a new coaching staff in place, Poles then went out and found the players he felt could improve the offense. He signed running back D'Andre Swift, offensive linemen Coleman Shelton and Matt Pryor, and tight end Gerald Everett. Additionally, he traded for offensive lineman Ryan Bates and wide receiver Keenan Allen.

The Allen trade may be a deal that could be a key to the 2024 season and possibly beyond. Allen is a six-time Pro Bowl receiver who is coming off of one of his best seasons, garnering 108 catches for 1,243 yards and 7 touchdowns. The Bears are hoping that he and DJ Moore can be a deadly duo and wreak havoc on NFL secondaries.

Poles hopes that having two excellent route runners who are used to making big plays consistently will help in the transition for likely top draft pick Caleb Williams. Poles traded away previous starter Justin Fields and has followed him around like a lost puppy. Having the duo of Moore and Allen makes his job as quarterback much easier. If he can get the ball anywhere close, they will make the catch.

The acquisition of Allen was a big surprise. In his first two years as GM, he targeted young veterans. Allen is 32 years old. Additionally, Poles goes after players without severe injury history. Allen has dealt with injury throughout his career. He missed 41 games in his 11-year career.

Furthermore, Allen is in the final year of his contract. He will be a $23.1 million cap hit. There is no guarantee that he will re-sign after the season. In fact, he contemplated retirement when the Los Angeles Chargers asked him to take a pay cut. He refused and was ready to retire if that was necessary.

There are many who feel that Allen is just a one-year rental. Will he re-sign at age 33 after spending nearly his entire career with one team?

If Allen can avoid injuries he can be an incredible asset for the Chicago Bears. As mentioned before, he and Moore can do more for Williams than even the coaches. They will explain to Williams where the ball should be placed and how they like the passes. They will make up for any bad throws Williams can make.

With Allen, this offense can be a high-octane one. They have Swift, along with Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson in the backfield. Swift and Johnson can also make catches out of the backfield. With Everett and Cole Kmet, Williams will have two big, athletic targets. That will come in handy in the red zone.

Opposing defenses cannot defend everyone. If teams stay off of Allen, he will make them pay for it. His precise route-running will create separation, giving Williams space to get the ball to him. Then, when he gets the ball, he can turn a five-yard gain into a 30-year touchdown. Again, if Williams can just get the ball to him, Allen can do the heavy lifting.

With Allen's help, the Chicago Bears can truly compete in the NFC North. The titles have been too few and in between. Allen can help usher in a new era of winning football in Chicago. We can see them return to the dominant team we saw decades earlier. Between 1984 and 1990, they won six NFC Central division title. The fans would love to see that again.

Depending on how things work out in 2024, Allen could be more than a rental. After the trade reporters asked him if there was any talk about a new contract. While he said there was nothing on the horizon, he is keeping an open mind. He could be open to a new contract depending on what happens in 2024.

If Allen stays more than a season it will be a great pickup for Poles. With the unknown, he could still select a wide receiver from the draft. Allen could be a great help for the younger receivers. They get to see in him how a professional handles his business. Those young receivers can learn just as much from Allen as Williams.


It will be an interesting 2024 season for the Chicago Bears. If Allen continues to play excellent ball and he and Moore become a deadly combo, this team could compete right away for the NFC North. If Poles drafts a great young receiver and Allen decides to re-sign, then the team can do what Poles set out to accomplish "Grab the NFC North title and never let go."